Simmons & Simmons keeps its cards close
In another glimmer of hope that City firm are pulling through the pandemic, Simmons & Simmons is bringing back bonuses. However, the firm did not go as far as guaranteeing pay and jobs.
In April this year, as a response to the pandemic, Simmons deferred its pay and bonus reviews and delayed partner distributions. It also furloughed staff whose roles were "directly impacted by remote working”.
"Simmons & Simmons is pleased to confirm that it will be paying bonuses for FY19/20 in the November payroll," a spokesman for the firm confirmed to RollOnFriday. He added that Simmons "continues to review the safeguards implemented earlier in the year to preserve jobs during this period of uncertainty.”
But the firm was tight-lipped when asked to provide further details; it would not be drawn on the size of the bonus money pot, in comparison with last year. And the firm would not say whether it anticipated future pay or job cuts. The cagey approach is perhaps unsurprising, given the uncertain economic climate.
There is also some mystery around furloughed staff. It is understood that all of Simmons' business services staff who were furloughed have now returned to work. But, the firm would not confirm whether it was bringing back the entire number of UK staff it had furloughed.
So, while the green light for bonuses at Simmons looks promising, it is difficult to get a complete picture of how the firm is faring at this stage.
There have been positive signs at other City firms that lawyers won't be hit in the pocket this year, with temporary salary restrictions eased. And some of the US firms, such as White & Case and Akin Gump, are going great guns by increasing lawyers' wages and paying out special bonuses. But it remains to be seen how all staff at the big City firms will be affected, as some cuts are creeping in.